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Netflix and YouTube choose DIAL to link smartphones with TV and media streaming devices

News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday January 23, 2013.

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If you think Netflix and YouTube could benefit from controlling TV streaming through a smartphone or tablet, a protocol embraced by both products is arriving to trigger smart playback and controls between a mobile device and an internet-connected television.

Both Netflix and YouTube have signed-on to support DIAL, a system designed to help "developers of second-screen apps to discover and launch applications on smart TVs and connected devices," as GigaOM describes it. DIAL is short for Discovery and Launch because it operates by letting consumers browse for content on their smartphone and then spark playback on a television. There are already apps that enable this, such as the PlayStation 3's ability to link with YouTube or Netflix for that basic premise, but the set-up process has to be repeated and is not always intuitive.

DIAL facilitates connections in a simpler process because it uses UPnP to automatically sense that Netflix or YouTube is available on a smart TV and connects the two devices to interact with each other. The protocol does not provide mirroring of displays, but if someone watches a YouTube video on their smartphone and decide to upgrade to a bigger screen, they can tap a button to signal to the television to seek the same content. According to comments Netflix made to GigaOm, it will also be able to launch web apps and launch apps on the second screen.

DIAL can already be seen in Google TV devices and some existing smart TVs. Additional support will arrive from Samsung, Sony, Hulu, and the BBC.

source: GigaOm

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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